The brother of former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has pledged allegiance to the Taliban, according to new footage on Saturday.
Hashmat Ghani announced his support for the insurgent group that took over Afghanistan last week in the presence of Khalil Haqqani, leader of a Taliban offshoot group, reports indicated.
The former president took refuge with his family in the United Arab Emirates when the Taliban closed in on the Afghan capital.
“[The] Taliban are well capable of bringing security but running a functional government require[s] the input and collaboration of younger educated Afghans,” Hashmat Ghani tweeted on Saturday.
“The so-called expired politicians should be sidelined completely so failed experience of coalition government is not repeated,” he added.
There was no immediate statement from the Taliban on Hashmat Ghani’s pledge.
— FJ (@Natsecjeff) August 21, 2021
Hashmat Ghani is an independent Afghan politician, who oversees the affairs of the Kuchi nomads, and the Ahmadzai tribe. In 2002, he was appointed the Grand Council Chieftain of the Kuchis.
The Taliban leader Haqqani, who was said to be present at Hashmat Ghani’s pledge, is one of America’s most wanted terrorists with a $5 million bounty on his head for links to al-Qaeda.
According to reports on Friday, the Taliban has put Haqqani in charge of security in Kabul.
The Haqqani network have been blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in recent years, claiming the lives of civilians, government officials and foreign forces.
They have been designated a foreign terrorist group by the United States, and are also under United Nations sanctions.
The Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital last Sunday after the government collapsed and the embattled president joined an exodus of his fellow citizens and foreigners.
Agencies contributed to this report.